Call for Writers
Liturgy, Sermon Starters & Activities for All Ages
DEADLINE: June 15, 2012
Share your unique voice as a writer of resources for the ecumenical community across the US gathering the 2013 One Great Hour of Sharing (Week of Compassion) Offering
If your entry is selected for use, you will be compensated (see below)!
For over 60 years, the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering (OGHS) — known as Week of Compassion in the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ — helps American Christians bring God’s hope and healing to hurting people both in the US and around the world. Since the closing years of World War II, OGHS has raised funds to support domestic and international development, fight poverty and its consequences, and bring aid and relief to communities torn by war or ravaged by natural disaster.
Each year, the Offering is gathered by nine denominations under a single theme guided by an ecumenical committee. In addition to posters, brochures, and interactive media, the Committee commissions a Leader’s Guide that contains a variety of resources and activities for pastors and church leaders to use as they promote and gather the Offering. While one writer has traditionally been commissioned to write the entire Leader’s Guide, the Committee wants to open the field to new voices, giving all who desire to participate an opportunity to create resources for the 2013 Offering.
THE LEADER’S GUIDE
The Guide contains liturgy, activities for all ages, and other elements that are in turn used by pastors, Sunday School teachers and other church leaders to promote and encourage giving to the Offering when it is gathered in each denomination (which occurs at different times of the year). The overarching goal of the Leader’s Guide and its materials: to gather as large an Offering as possible to enable accomplishment of as much mission-related work possible. In short, each year’s OGHS materials seek to “market” the Offering.
The 2013 Leader’s Guide will include some or all of the elements listed below, and the OGHS Committee invites entrants to provide any (or all) of the elements. More than one entry in each category may be selected by the Committee for use in the 2013 Leader’s Guide, and an entrant may submit just one element or a combination of elements (though each element/entry must be submitted separately). The dollar amount noted for each category will be paid to the entry/entries selected by the Committee for inclusion in the 2013 Offering materials ⎯
Sermon Starter ($250)
Approximately 500 words in length, each Sermon Starter should expand on the primary Scripture to communicate the 2013 theme and encourage giving to the Offering. Reference to additional Scripture passages is welcomed, as are original (but theologically appropriate) interpretations.
Liturgy, with Communion ($275)
Each liturgy should include a Call to Worship, Opening Prayer, Prayer of Confession & Words of Assurance, Litany, Invitation to Communion & Communion Prayer, Invitation to the Offering & Dedicatory Prayer, Charge & Benediction. Additional elements and/or hymn suggestions are welcome but not required.
Liturgy, without Communion ($250)
Each liturgy should include a Call to Worship, Opening Prayer, Prayer of Confession & Words of Assurance, Litany, Invitation to the Offering & Dedicatory Prayer, Charge & Benediction. Additional elements and/or hymn suggestions are welcome but not required.
Children’s Sermon ($100)
Appropriate for use in worship, of approximately three to four minutes.
Offering Reminder Activity ($50)
Appropriate for use in worship.
Children’s Activity ($50)
Appropriate for grade school children attending Sunday School in a variety of settings (ie, urban and rural, affluent and low income, etc), preferably with minimal advance preparation required by the teacher/leader.
Youth Activity ($50)
Appropriate for middle and high school youth attending Sunday School in a variety of settings (ie, urban and rural, affluent and low income, etc), preferably with minimal advance preparation required by the teacher/leader.
Intergenerational Activity ($50)
Appropriate for use in a supper or fellowship-type setting
Dramatic Interpretation ($75)
Appropriate for use as part of a worship service, approximately five minutes in length.
Please review samples of previous Leader’s Guides (see links below) to better understand the Offering, as well as the style and overall concept of the elements used in the materials.
Year three of a three-year theme —
to us, to others, to God
2 Corinthians 9:6-15
For three years, SHARING BRINGS JOY has been the OGHS/WoC theme. During 2011, congregations explored how sharing blesses, transforms, and brings joy to the giver; in 2012, how sharing blesses, transforms, and brings joy to others; and in 2013, how sharing brings joy to God. In a time of uncertainty and fear, what better offering to give back to God than our profound joy in knowing that we do, indeed, have all we need — and more.
Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.
Most of us can hardly imagine trying to live on less than $2 a day ⎯ but millions of people around the world live on half that amount! Few of us have seen our lives and homes destroyed by war ⎯ but many around the world live every day in fear and under the threat of violence. And while no nation escapes the trauma of natural disaster, people living in the poorest countries have limited resources for rebuilding and restoring damaged homes and livelihoods.
For over 65 years, Christians in the United States have shared their material blessings with a hurting world through One Great Hour of Sharing/Week of Compassion, bringing joy to God as well as to the beneficiaries of givers’ generosity. In response to Jesus’ call on our lives, we give our hard-earned resources through One Great Hour of Sharing/Week of Compassion to help ⎯
- nurture stronger futures and self sufficiency through health care, education, job training, and tools for livelihoods
- bring safety, shelter, and food to refugees after often violent circumstances have made their hometowns uninhabitable
- build homes, schools, medical clinics, and clean water and sewage facilities in villages devastated by earthquakes, floods, and poverty
During this offering season, ask yourself and others in your community of faith the following questions: What motivates some people to share, to be willing, open-hearted, cheerful givers, while others in similar situations cling to their wealth and focus on getting even more for themselves? Why does this joyful giving persist when we can’t seem to “fix” the world permanently? Why don’t we conform to the attitude that some level of poverty and hunger is acceptable?
Because we have been changed by God’s gift of Jesus. God lives! In us! And God’s love moves through us to bring help and blessing to hurting lives. Because we have been changed by God’s love for us, we want to pass on that love to others living in a world in need. Our sharing opens the way for God to reach more deeply into our lives, and into the lives of others.
- Entries shall be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and must be received before midnight EST, June 15, 2012. Entries submitted by other methods may not be considered eligible for consideration, and responsibility for timely submission is the sole responsibility of the writer.
- Each entry must be submitted by a separate email, with the element category in the subject line (ie, Sermon Starter, Children’s Activity). The entry must be attached in a Word-compatible document, with the writer’s name, contact information and a short bio paragraph in a brief cover email.
- Entries should be in Arial font, 11-point type with single spacing and one-inch margins. Please avoid using headers and footers, or attaching or embedding images unless required for an activity. Activity-related images should be of a modest file size (under 1MB).
- Entries should reflect the primary Scripture reference in part or in whole, but may also draw on related passages at the writer’s discretion.
- All content should be written using inclusive language for God and for people, and should be written for an ecumenical audience. Each denomination will edit the selected entries for their own particular communion.
- The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible remains the standard translation for OGHS materials. If other translations are used for particular effect, please reference the translation.
- Entries that are selected/purchased by the ecumenical One Great Hour of Sharing/Week of Compassion Committee become the property of the Committee, which will own all rights. Selected/purchased entries will be credited where possible, and may be edited by the Committee’s member denominations.
- All properly submitted entries will be considered by the Committee, but entries that do not conform to the Guidelines may not be considered eligible.
- By or before July 31, all entrants will be notified that a final selection has been made. Payment for selected/purchased entries will be made upon receipt by the Committee’s Project Manager of the writer’s full contact details and Social Security Number.
- Questions may be directed to email@example.com
The following links point to some of the denominational resources from the current and previous years’ offerings —
American Baptist Church OGHS Resources
Christian Church, Disciples of Christ Week of Compassion Resources
Church of the Brethren OGHS Resources
Presbyterian Church USA OGHS Offering Leader’s Guide
United Church of Christ OGHS Resources